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We all know that Google are at the forefront of innovation: especially in pay per click advertising. For Google Potentially Introducing Image Site Link Extensionsthis reason, it should not come as a surprise to know that Google are experimenting on site link extensions, hoping that the inclusion of images for each site link extension will improve the performance of the ad extension. Obviously, the results produced from Google experimenting will provide quantifiable results as to whether the images work or not. But, before the results are in, what impact could images in site link extensions have to PPC?


#1 Number of Adverts Listed to Change?

My first worry that comes with image ad extensions is the increase in vertical space that they create. If every advert had image ad extensions, the web user would have to scroll quite a few times to reach the top of organic search results, which Google will not want. Therefore, how many adverts at one time can show the image ad extension?

My theory would be to only allow the top advert to be able to show image ad extensions. This way, it will give web users more reason to bid a higher CPC to gain top spot:

  • The image ad extension could potentially improve the performance of the advert.
  • The real estate space of the advert increases dramatically, increasing the exposure of the advert (which would result likely in a higher click through rate).

From doing this could potentially increase the CPC for every targeted sector in PPC if the difference between 1st and 2nd spots are more ‘black and white’ and less ‘grey’.


#2 What Images Will Show?

Another problem I have with the image ad extension is whether Google will moderate the images that are allowed to be shown on the advert or whether they will be automatically selected based on the contents of the web page the specific site link is linking to.

With each of these there are problems associated to them, though:

  • If the images are chosen by the advertiser, the images that are chosen might not always be images that represent the site link the best. As well as this, it will take time for Google employees to moderate every image.
  • If the images are automatically chosen, they may not always be images that best represent the site link. For example, Google may have to choose between two images and accidentally choose the image not as applicable to the site link from the web page.

Ultimately, I think it will be something that will happen to PPC – the question is whether it will be sooner or later. Either way, the way in which Google implements image site links into their PPC advertising program can make or break the program. For this reason, it is crucial to AdWords that the image ad extensions are used correctly and appropriately.

Will created Ask Will Online back in 2010 to help students revise and bloggers make money developing himself into an expert in PPC, blogging SEO, and online marketing. He now runs others websites such as Poem Analysis, Book Analysis, and Ocean Info. You can follow him @willGreeny.

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